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Ariel Bradley: Spy for General Washington

post written by Emma Filbrun

Ariel Bradley, Spy for General Washington, by Lynda DurrantTitle: Ariel Bradley: Spy for General Washington
Author: Lynda Durrant
Major Themes: American Revolution, Spying, George Washington
Synopsis: A 9-year-old boy pretends to be an ignorant country bumpkin in order to find information for General Washington.

I have always loved picture books about historical events, so when I had the chance to read Ariel Bradley: Spy for General Washington, I jumped for it, so to speak. I had never heard of the events described in this short book.

Nine-year-old Ariel Bradley’s two oldest brothers are fighting with General Washington. When they come home for a night, Ma makes a feast—including blackberry cobbler served with cream! The brothers ask Ariel if he can “play the Johnny Raw”–pretend to be a country bumpkin in order to spy on General Howe’s troops and get information for General Washington. Ariel is scared, but he agrees to try. Do their plans work?

I’ll keep this story in mind to read to my sons the next time we study American history. There really was an Ariel Bradley, and he really did spy on the British, helping Washington win a major battle. Although the pictures are cartoonish and not my style, they help to bring the story to life.

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

No warnings!

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12


Links to buy Ariel Bradley: Spy for General Washington:


Paperback | Hardcover


Keywords: American Revolution, George Washington, Spying

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